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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Don't look now.... I'm trying to think
Author(s): Doherty-Sneddon, Gwyneth
Keywords: Gaze aversion
Issue Date: Feb-2004
Citation: Doherty-Sneddon G (2004) Don't look now.... I'm trying to think, The Psychologist, 17 (2), pp. 82-85.
Abstract: During difficult cognitive activity, for example remembering information, thinking of an answer to a question, planning what we are going to say, and speaking, we often close our eyes, look up at the sky, or look away from the person we are in conversation with. Adults are very good at switching off from environmental stimulation (both live faces and other sorts of visual displays) in order to concentrate better. Until recently we knew very little about whether children use gaze aversion in a similar way. This is a potentially important omission since the efficiency with which children process information influences many aspects of their development, including school progress. In this article I'll describe what our research team at Stirling have been doing to investigate children's gaze aversion, including past and current work. These investigations have been funded through 3 ESRC grants. Children's patterns of gaze promise to yield important cues to their thinking, concentration and mental processing that will be useful to parents, teachers, psychologists and anyone engaged in assessing children's knowledge and development.

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